Hammer and Feather marvelled at the simplicity and comfort of being back together again. Conversation, muted or stated, glances overt or concealed and whispers of appreciation penetrated the sphere of tranquility that was their gift, granted by the fairy of Ellesmere Island. Hammer wedged himself between a smooth chunk of granite and an ancient oak tree allowing him a good view of the two grazing horses while Feather stretched out on the prickly grass, looking up at the blue sky visualizing the dark explosive sky that persistently probed her thoughts of late. Feather’s blue was nurture, but nurture has a way of unraveling when the costs out muscle the benefits or when the costs were miscalculated by sincere bright eyes whose exuberance tipped the scales when the overseer still hadn’t shown up for work. This polite tug of war, when magnified, reveals unsettling ripples in the fabric of nurture leaving dangling conversations of who gets to wear the fabric and what to do with it when it wears out.

Feather’s participation in the tug of war was limited at best, never really knowing which side to line up on or how hard to pull once a side was tentatively chosen. Now, with her days dark, a foreboding  sting challenged her comprehension and delivery of nurture as she remained unsettled about what was ahead. What was ahead, finding the one hundred women haunting the interior of Plot 82 and planning their rescue.


Slim confidently navigated the luxurious Escalade, his index finger resting on the bottom of the steering wheel, performing occasional manoeuvres when potholes appeared, or racoons dashed across the road. Not a man to be burdened by a lopsided business deal, Slim couldn’t help but smile when he thought about the Jesus drive he now possessed, giving up a few barren Missouri acres in exchange. As he drove on into the night, Slim was spooked by a series of loud noises, followed by hot white lights filling the dark sky, Slowing down, Slim was mysteriously drawn to the lights, so he turned down a gravel road and chased the dancing glow for several miles.

Stories abound about the secrets and treasures the night brings as it unburdens the stark trappings of daylight, the big brother of the gong show. Everything is so precise when the big brother speaks, and the meaning of the words can’t be softened or changed or twisted into something unintended. Fortunately, when the brother sleeps pixie dust falls from the brother’s final photons and night is king again, even if only in illusion. Mingled throughout the particles of light, the long defunct Coyote Apples performed the show they were constantly denied, and the sound was sweeter then humanly possible. Countless fans pounded the stage with their fists, arms waved and swayed in the air, and a sea of bodies floated into the melodic stream of this imaginary event. Slim looked out the driver’s side window at the three performers, ghosts of what might have been in this world, icons in an imaginary world.